The Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets will face off in a highly touted second-round matchup in the Western Conference Semifinals after pulling off massive wins in the first round of the playoffs. In this 2021 NBA Playoffs odds post, we’ll look at the Nuggets-Suns series odds, schedule, make a prediction and more.
These teams played each other three times back in January and Denver won the series, 2-1. Phoenix finished the season with the higher seed, however, which gives them home-court advantage in this series
Nuggets-Suns Series Odds (Updated 6/13)
Denver Nuggets (+2200)
Phoenix Suns (-8000)
Nuggets-Suns Series Schedule
Game 1: DEN 105-122 PHX
Game 2: DEN 98-123 PHX
Game 3: PHX 116-102 DEN
Game 4: PHX 125-118 DEN
No. 2 Phoenix Suns
The Suns just knocked off the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. Although the Lakers were discombobulated and were forced to play without Anthony Davis for most of the end of the series, the Suns showed they are for real this season.
Enough cannot be said about the impact that Chris Paul has had on this young group as the veteran point guard has elevated the play of everyone around him. Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton are two of the most talented young superstars in our game today and have a floor general who generates open looks for them. Paul has been dealing with a shoulder injury, which is something to monitor this series. The injury did impact his scoring input against the Lakers, but Paul found ways to impact the series elsewhere.
The Suns have also been a stellar defensive team this season, ranking sixth in defensive rating in the regular season and second so far in the playoffs. The Suns defend the perimeter very well and with the Nuggets’ lack of healthy bodies in the backcourt, this may be where Phoenix has the biggest edge. Although the Suns have to deal with MVP favorite Nikola Jokic, there weren’t many guys that defended him better than Ayton this season. Jokic shot just 13-of-34 against Ayton during the regular season, so this matchup will be one to watch all series.
No. 3 Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets got past a tough first-round matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers. Defeating a team led by Damian Lillard is certainly no easy task. Although we saw an all-time great performance from Dame in Game 5, it was the Nuggets that stole the show in that game and then in Game 6. It was Michael Porter Jr. who came out and lit the Moda Center up with 22 points in the first quarter of the series clincher, and the Nuggets came up big down the stretch to erase a 14-point deficit in the second half.
Denver has a tall task ahead of them without star point guard Jamal Murray. Murray’s absence has been tough to swallow because this Nuggets team is at a disadvantage in the backcourt without him, especially with other injuries. It’s a good thing they have an MVP candidate at center who acts as the de facto point guard. Nikola Jokic averaged 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists during the regular season before absolutely dominating the Blazers in the first round. He is an elite shot creator, which is why his club finished in the top 10 in total scoring, field goal percentage, and 3-point percentage.
Although Denver is at a disadvantage in the backcourt, it’s the bench that will make or break this series. The Nuggets have a deep roster full of guys who come in and make an impact. Denver’s bench outscored Portland’s bench by 10.7 points per game in the first-round matchup. The Nuggets will attempt to lean on their bench and their edge in playoff experience to beat the more talented Suns in a seven-game series.
Nuggets-Suns Series Prediction and Pick
I’m predicting that the Suns will win this series in six games. The impact that Monty Williams and Chris Paul have had on this club was made evident in their first playoff series against the Lakers. Devin Booker got more comfortable as the series went on and absolutely torched the Lakers in the series clincher. Although Nikola Jokic is arguably the best player left in the field, he has his toughest test against a young center who is stout on the defensive end. The advantage that Phoenix possesses on the wings is what will make it hard for Denver to keep up. Phoenix will outpace and outscore the Denver Nuggets for much of this series.
FINAL PICK: Phoenix Suns (-205)